BENTON, Ark. — Folks in Benton can feel a little safer thanks to the addition of a brand new fire station.
The facility has already responded to the city's growing west side.
"Benton is moving out that westward way. It just became a time that we needed to be proactive," said Matthew Thibault, Benton's City Communications Director.
Thibault said that the area by the Saline County Career Technical Campus has grown, and the new fire station will help fill a big need.
"You'll see that there's residential areas popping up, you'll see the brand-new elementary school that's being built behind there," he said.
The new station will also help cut down on response times, something Thibault added he will be looking forward to.
"With all that traffic and all that construction out there really hindered us being able to get out there in a timely manner," Thibault explained.
Fire Chief, Russell Evans said that there are still more finishing touches to make on the station, but the nine firefighters on his crew are ready to serve now.
"We have the CTE school, I believe we've actually made two or three runs for some students over there that were having medical issues. Nothing major, fortunately, so there's been a few vehicle wrecks and things on the interstate so they've definitely made some runs from out of the new station," he said.
The station also has its own built-in Safe Haven Baby Box for mothers to anonymously put their babies in if they are unable to care for them.
"Our presence there and what we can afford them as far as EMS and fire protection is, is going to be super," Evans added.
The $1.8 million facility and its new engine truck were paid for completely in cash. The city will host a ribbon cutting next Friday, September 9 at 9 a.m.